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Making authoritative paint samples8/11/21
This is a question for shops that paint a lot of "in-house" colors (ie, colors you consider your daily staple colors, as opposed to custom match).
We will be adding a flatline here soon which will eliminate the need for us to stick to the color palate of door companies, so we'll develop our own in-house line of colors. We spray conversion varnish, topped with water white clear.
What we are looking for is the most simple/sensible solution to making sure that our colors remain stable over time. In other words, I think we need to have a sample board of each color made/painted with something that has the best color stability available, stored in a dark dry location.
If we make our color standards out of conversion varnish, I fear that they will eventually drift. I've seen it drift in a client's kitchen, and even sitting in an envelope in a desk. Not much, but enough that it matters.
We're going to stick with conversion varnish for production, but is there a paint that we should be looking into for making our paint standard boards?
My eventual goal is that I have 1 paint standard for every color stored here at my shop, and 1 copy of that same board stored at my paint vendor, so that we both have a visual reference point.
I don't mind buying a gallon of tinted specialty paint of whatever type, as long as it's more color stable over time.
Any suggestions? Powder coat? Is 2K Urethane more color-stable?
We do not spray clear over any of our pigmented colors, custom or stock colors. We also do not have any issues with color stability, other than UV, ie a window allowing daily UV on a cabinet. And that will happen to any film forming coating. Maybe it's your clears discoloring, not the pigmented coating. We also use exclusively post cat cv. Use almost exclusively ML Campbell products.
Robb, I appreciate your reply. I have some familiarity with MLC, I sprayed Stealth and Resistant for years-- if you get the solvent mix right, they are outstanding finishes.
So if I may ask a hypothetical. Let's say you have a color you sell a LOT of called "Dove White" and you buy it in 30-40 gallon batches.
When you get a new batch in, you're going to have a sprayed out sample card in your hand of that batch.
What are you using in your shop to compare that new batch sample to, to make sure it's accurate?
My current vendor is good, but they are not perfect-- batch variations are a way of life.
What are you doing if a client brings in a damaged drawer front from 5 years ago, painted "White Dove" and is willing to pay you to refinish it to blend back in with the rest of the job. Are you able just to go spray it with your current batch of "White Dove" and sleep peacefully knowing it will look right when it goes back into her kitchen?
Again I do appreciate your feedback.
Matt, I agree with that scenario that is a crap shoot at times. We use our sample doors in the showroom as our standard. We have been lucky in that regards and our paint supplier gets standard colors close enough to pass mustard almost all the time. Custom colors is another story, we bring a door or drawer front back from the job and match to that for rebuilds. What we run into in those cases is some sort of redesign, ie built in appliance cut out or add cabinets that has to be matched. Again we bring some painted component back to match.
Another comment is we have a much harder time matching stains than we do pigmenteds. Too many variables, wood, time stain left on before wipe, sanding prep etc etc. Seems more trial and error than science.
Robb you're 100% correct about the stains. I don't have time to be doing custom stains myself, I'd rather someone else who is properly trained and equipped to be doing it. But when I send over a custom stain match, I end up flushing everything and doing it myself, invariably.
I had to do one today. Local vendor (major global brand) blew 2 gallons of stain trying to get it right, over the course of 3 days....and neither was even in the right zip code.
I walked out into our paint storage, brought back 4 different colors. Used a 1:1:1 ratio of 3 of them and got the stain color almost perfect. All in about 45 minutes.
I think honestly the major downfall of the stain matching is that 1) The people doing the stain custom match aren't woodworkers and have absolutely no clue how colorants and woodgrain interact, and 2) They rely on those optic sensors to blow smoke up their arse telling them "good job little boy, you got it right", even though the final result isn't even remotely close.
I've had a number of times I'd tell them specifically that we don't want the grain accentuated, but they fill the stain with gilsonite. Or, I tell them "the client does NOT like amber, make sure this sample does not lean toward the amber side" and the sample will come back looking like a lump of solid $%#% amber.
Of course, the reason they can't get it is ALWAYS because of the wood, the sanding, and the lighting. Has nothing whatsoever to do with being utterly ignorant about how to produce a custom stain. Right?
Matt, Familiar story here. Feel your pain.
I'm so confused now - do y'all really run into people trying to use the optical sensors (spectrometers) to match stains?
That doesn't even make any sense to try directly.
Stains are another matter, because
For starters, the spectrometer can only tell you what color something is now.
For transparent colors, you need to know what color you *added* to the original to get it to where it is, and reading just a stained piece of wood will *never* give you that.
You'd really need two accurate samples of the same wood, one stained, one not.
You can then subtract the colors from each other and tell what color the actual stain was imparting, and that should be something that can probably be automatically constructed to work on that wood.
You could also use the piece of wood you *want* to stain as the point of comparison, and that would be able to tell what color needs to be added to it to make it into the stained piece.
(But this is much harder to construct automatically. At least you'd know what color to aim for!)
I laugh with you, not at you, as a retired decorative and protective coating chemist, and a professional colorist among many other things, what I can tell you is what my professor first told me.....
Chemmy, Thanks for your input. Have missed your informative expert posts. Hope your well and enjoying retirement.
Your welcome Robb, as an after thought, here is a little used insight, as to the type of colorants that I used on most everything that I finish, at least in wood finishing.
Thank you Jim, won't be posting often, only on things which catch my eye that feel I can be of some help or work out any confusion on. Stay tuned....lol
No responses, so I will stop posting on this thread... Have at it guys and continued success.
Chemmy, You and many of the old timers (non derogatory statement) that post on WoodWeb are what makes this forum great. It is the life long education, experiences and exchange of information that brings true time tested and studied knowledge to this forum. At over 60 years of age and a long time user of WoodWeb, my thanks to you and other old farts like us who believe in reading, learning and experience as our teachers and not first time you tubers who have learned it all in 2 or 3 weeks. I am afraid that one day, those who follow us, will not have the opportunity to seek the wisdom of the sages but will rely on the newest techniques or teachings that blow across access of media at the time. I know one day WoodWeb will close because of those who follow us seek instant access and instant success.
Hi Thomas, no offense taken, I know I am a dinosaur trying to live in time not meant for me.!!